Two Inuit throat singers perform on opening night of the 2017 Canada Summer Games Festival. Credit: Matt Duboff / Canada Summer Games

A Reader staffer shares three musical obsessions, then asks someone (who asks someone else) to take a turn.

Philip Montoro, Reader music editor

Godflesh, Post Self Drum machines and digital production make it easy to achieve robotically precise music. What I like about the new Godflesh record is that Justin Broadrick engineers its pistoning industrial stomps and dirgelike oscillations to sound as though they’re kept in alignment only by constant, exhausting physical effort. It helps that his favored vocal style is a hoarse, strained bark—you can almost see him fighting to hold shut a bulging steel hatch.

UbuWeb’s collection of Inuit vocal games Though banned by Christian clergy for almost a century, Inuit throat singing survived, and since the 1980s it’s undergone a renaissance as a living cultural practice. Avant-garde archive UbuWeb has posted 98 free-to-download recordings of Inuit vocal games, broadly called katajjaq (plural katajjait). They’re generally played by two women face-to-face: one creates a rapid, shifting pattern of rhythmic noises, and the other tries to keep up by filling in the gaps. Those noises are what make the games sound fun: growls, barks, gasps, wheezes, hoots .  .  . and often, when someone loses, helpless laughter.
inuit-vocal_18-huagahaaq.mp3 –
inuit-throat-singing_03.mp3 –